Hello! This is Fé’s Natural Birth Story Part Two!
If you haven’t done so already I suggest you read Fés Birth Story: Part One to get all caught up =) Here is the rest of her birth story!
We got to the hospital around 7:00pm and Daniel got me into a wheelchair and went to go park the car. Sophie came out and wheeled me into the Emergency Room and Daniel quickly joined us with all of our stuff from the car. Again, I don’t really remember how we got from the car to the delivery room, but once we got there and I immediately took off my pants (that were completely soaked with amniotic fluid) and got into the hospital bed.
Soon the hospital midwife came in hooked me up to a monitor to track the baby’s heart rate. I was moving too much, however, because I was in so much pain so she ended up having to go inside and hook up a monitor to Fé’s head instead!
Also, at this point I really wanted an epidural. I had totally planned for an all natural childbirth but I was in so much pain I asked for an epidural anyway. What scared me the most was that I thought I was only 5 cm dilated and I thought that if I was in this much pain now, what was it going to be like when I am 8 or 9 cm dilated!
Its protocol that they let you know all of the risks of getting an epidural before you make the final decision to get one. I already knew all the risks (see epidural pros and cons here) which is why I wanted to avoid getting an epidural in the first place. But I think I was in so much pain at the time I didn’t care anymore. The thought of being in that much pain for hours seemed absolutely unbearable!
The nurses first had to hook me up to an IV before they could give me an epidural. Normally I hate needles and I get really squeemish around them, but I was in so much pain I had no idea they were even trying to put in my IV. Apparently they hook up the IV properly because they kept going through the vein, so they had to call in the anisthiologist to do it and she ended up putting it on the inside of my elbow instead of my hand.
After I was all hooked up the midwife checked me to see how dilated I was and she said I was at 9cm! There was no way I was going to get an epidural at this point because I was going to be pushing in just a little bit. I got really excited when I heard I was already at 9m. I felt a giant cloud of relief come over me because the worst part was almost over. I felt so much more confident and I knew that I could manage the pain just a little bit longer. The nurses starting to prepare the “launch pad” as they called it and I started to get really excited!
At this point during every contraction, I felt the overwhelming urge to push but the nurses told me that I had to wait just a little bit longer. After a few more VERY PAINFUL contractions I was finally allowed to push. Originally I wanted to push in a squatting position or on my side, but in the moment I didn’t care at all how I was going to push I just wanted to get the baby out! I held my legs up as far as I could hold them (Daniel helped) and during every contraction I tucked my chin into my chest and pushed down as hard as I could.
Pushing actually didn’t hurt at all. It was such a relief to be able to push. It made the contractions so much more bearable. It’s so nice to know that the end was in sight. They talk about the “ring of fire” when the baby’s head comes through the birth canal and it does feel exactly like a “ring of fire” but it is not extremely painful. I think the key is just to keep pushing through it and the baby will come right out. After a good three contractions and only 11 minutes later the pushing was over and baby Fé was finally out!
Her umbilical cord was actually really short, so they couldn’t put her all the way up on my belly right away. It stopped pulsing (normally this takes up to 5 minutes) right away so Daniel cut it pretty quickly. He said it was surprisingly hard to cut through! After he cut the cord they placed little Fé on my chest. It was so amazing finally hold her in my arms and see her face for the first time. Words really cannot express what an amazing and overwhelming feeling it is.
After an hour on my chest the nurses came in and weighed her, cleaned her, and dressed her. She weighed 3.950 kg or 8lbs 11oz (she was a big baby)! They checked her and told us she was a perfectly healthy baby.
We were required to stay in the hospital for 24-48 hours after the birth because I took anti-depressants during my pregnancy and they need to make sure Fé isn’t going through withdrawals. We spent the rest of the evening cuddling little Fé and trying to grasp what just happened. Daniel and I kept saying to each other how surreal everything was and that it was so crazy that our baby was finally here.
After two long nights in the hospital we were finally allowed to go home. There was nothing wrong with little Fé and Daniel and I were very ready to go home.
In Holland, our insurance pays for a Maternity Nurse to come everyday the first week we are home with the baby. We left the hospital on Sunday morning and our Maternity Nurse came to our house that afternoon to start helping us out! Ill post more on this later, but having a nurse come and help out the first week was a tremendous help to us, especially since my family is back in the States and Daniels mom lives in England so we don’t really have much help around here!
Fé’s birth was a truly life changing experience for both me and Daniel. Having a natural childbirth showed me that I am much stronger than I ever thought. It was a truly empowering experience and I think in the future I will choose to have another natural birth experience.
Stay tuned for an update on Fé’s first week at home and our wonderful experience with our maternity nurse!